Thursday, August 17, 2017

Shoot That Uppity WHAT?!?

uppity: inclined to be self-assertive; assuming; pretentious; snobbish- Webster's Dictionary of the English Language

Surprised to find THAT in the dictionary, huh?

To be honest. I had only heard it used in conjunction with another word (a racial pejorative). See: "Blazing Saddles," the part where Taggart admits depression and Lyle proposes a solution).

I find it (uppity) to be racist and offensive.

But not for the reasons most might think.

Given the context (the South of my childhood) in which I always heard it used, the word was always understood to apply to a certain group of people.

This will not do, y'all.

I have known uppity people of all persuasions (mostly the persuasion that they were "all that").

In fact the most uppity person I know of does not live near here and  certainly does not trace his ancestry to the Dark Continent.

I speak of course of Kim Jong Un, the uppity little fat-boy (forgive me, Lord) ruler of North Korea.

I mean, the nerve of this guy, right? The dictator of the absolute WORST place in the world to live and he can described with every word for "uppity" given in the dictionary.

To quote Taggart: "I am depressed."

Makes me want to pray one of those Psalms. 3:7 comes to mind.

But be that as it may, the truth is (given Webster's definition) we have all been guilty of uppitiness at some point.

And in this wicked world there is an over-supply of uppity.

Perhaps a more appropriate Psalm might be the 51st: "Have mercy on me, O God."

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Something Bright and Shiny

...suffer the little children to come unto me....-Mark 10:14b

A joyful sound rings out in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings. It is not the singing or the prayers or the sound of God's Word being faithfully preached, though there are all these.

It is the sound of life. the sound of growth, the voices of babes and infants.

It might be thought to be distracting, but shouldn't it be a reminder of God's blessing that there are young families with young moms and dads committed to raising their babies in the midst of God's worship?

I am too often distracted, I find, in the midst of the Sunday service. But it is not the cries of babies that diverts my attention but my own foolish and wandering mind.

Random thoughts, a word here, a phrase there, spoken or sung during worship starts me drifting.

Nothing, certainly not the restlessness of a two year-old can be as disconcerting as to realize I've missed an important point in the sermon due to my wool-gathering.

A dear Christian friend once shared that she used to go home weeping after struggling through the service with her young child.

Prayers then, for the dedicated parents who desire to raise their precious children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
And continued prayers for myself, that I not be distracted  by bright and shiny things of my imagination from the sustenance I need and seek.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Word of Explanation

We live in a fallen world.

We need to understand this in order to account for the wicked, foolish, destructive (to self and others), and sometimes just downright annoying behavior of people.

And we need to understand this in order to understand the spiritual war that is going in in your heart and mind, Christian person, and also in my own.

You will have noticed that whenever your desires are thwarted, your perceived needs are not met, or you (and your "feelings") are not accorded the proper amount of respect, you (we) tend to get out of sorts and perhaps even behave peevishly.

And I'll admit it (and you may join me or not), the desire arises to act out, like Tommy Udo in the photo above.

Tommy was a sneering, snarling, giggling little homicidal wretch who would stop at nothing to get his way. This included pushing little old ladies in wheelchairs screaming down long flights of stairs.

I myself have never done this, nor have any of you whom I know. But I believe that the impulse to behave selfishly and to the hurt of others dwells deep inside each of our hearts.

Will you deny that you have dwelt on the desire to say something truly hateful or hurtful to some offending party, whether you acted on that urge or not?

I can make no such claim.

And so the conclusion of the matter is this:

Without God's restraining grace and mercy, who knows what deeds the human heart is capable of conceiving and executing?

Like the guy in the picture.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Last Full Measure of Devotion

Tell your Mama!!- Chris Rock's dad

Some might say that a good mom has the most thankless task there is, doing a thousand-and-one things a day for her kids, her husband, her home.

And so we try to remember, and still must be reminded (as Chris Rock's dad reminded his kids), to show appreciation to that woman who devoted herself to our well-being.

But there is another, isn't there, who deserves our thanks and gratitude for sacrifices made.

When Abraham Lincoln composed the Gettysburg Address, he had in mind a tribute to those who fought, but especially to those who laid down their lives on that field.

Husbands, in like manner, are called on to lay down their lives for their wives, just as Christ laid down his for his Church.

Now who can possibly perfectly imitate Christ? Yet the command is there and on this Dad's day, I am reminded of those men I have known who lived their lives according to this principle.

One of my elders at GPC is fond of saying, "There's nothing in the world like being married."

"This woman you gave me," is the first recorded complaint of a married man about the temptation through which his mate had put him.

Still we are called on to lead in love and devotion and in the authority which God has given us.

So no excuses, guys. Sometimes we have to stand for what is right, even when we are not sure what that is.

Thank God then for the women who speak loving words of encouragement and advice into the hearts of their men, never seeking to control them (for that is the curse and the temptation) but desiring always that their husbands live godly lives. For the good of the family and the glory of God.

Which brings me back to Dad.

Late in his life, after I was a grown boy, I came to understand how much he loved us kids and our mother.

I somehow attained enough good sense to be able to perceive that love, which was expressed throughout our lives, not so much in words, but in the way he led his family and set the example before us.

More than my own adventures in marriage, the hours spent with him in conversations of remembrance of bitter times showed me how hard it is to remain married (even to the best of women) and to be a good father.

And what devotion is required.

Our fathers set the bar so high.

Only by the grace of God can we hope to emulate them.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Braxton Is Going Home

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning O LORD; in the morning  will  I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. -Psalm 5:3

We know that prayer changes things, don't we? But perhaps the thing that changes most, without our even realizing it, is us.

In times of trouble, we pray. Whenever there is sorrow, we pray. We pray when we are afraid.

We cry out in faith to our Maker and anxiously await His answer.

And through prayer we learn of God's faithfulness. Then prayer becomes a sought-after communing with our Father in heaven and we pray joyfully and at all times.

I thank God for godly moms and dads, in my family and in my church, and everywhere that there are godly moms and dads. 

All their lives they will pray for their children and will teach their children to pray and to love Jesus.

I thank God for my own mother and father who lifted up who knows (except God alone) how many prayers for my well being, but mostly for my salvation.

I think of the prayers that have lifted up my youngest great-grandson and his mom and dad and I am thankful for the gift of prayer and those Christian people who employ it to intercede for family and friends and even perhaps for strangers of whose need we are aware.

So thanks to you all and thanks to God the Spirit for moving you to pray on behalf of Braxton Wayne Anderson.

May we ever pray without ceasing.

Friday, April 7, 2017

If Ever I Forget You

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. -Psalm 116:15

If ever I should forget you, let all memory be gone from me.

If I should cease to think of you daily, let me cease to think.

Let me not weary my friends with my recalling but if I should cease to speak of you, let me cease to speak.

But I will not forget and every day a half-forgotten recollection will creep forth to surprise me, to delight me, to heal me.

And I will meditate on how I waited half my life for you and that which we shared was worth the waiting.

And I will speak to those who loved you that we might re-live the joy of that love, and to those I wish had known you that, in some way, they might experience you in the sharing.

I am convinced that yours will be the second face I behold when I open my eyes in heaven.

For we will meet again.

And I will remember you.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Premises In the Dark

Apologies to Pat Benatar

Re-watched Sinister the other day with Sandy. She had never seen it and needed to watch a well made horror film.

I hadn't seen it since it was in theaters in 2012, so there were several of the "gotcha" moments I had forgotten. They got me.

Which brings me to several complaints about these fright-fests.

If you have the electricity turned on in your house (and they did), why are you investigating strange noises in the night with no light but a tiny flashlight with nearly expired batteries?

Also, why are you not checking behind that door when you enter a room?

And what about that baseball bat left over from your little league days? Even the kids in "Stranger Things" had enough sense to drive four or five nails through theirs.

I can't think of a single reason why any sane person would want to go into their basement. Ever. I mean if it's flooding, call the plumber. let HIM go down there!

I won't even mention moving your family into a house where a notorious (and unsolved) murder has taken place. Don't we need a little suspension of disbelief here?

I will say that if it has been your dream to make a movie, you don't have to go around doing all that Ed Wood stuff (Bela Lugosi is dead after all). Just mention that you're making a horror film and apparently the sky will begin to rain 100's and 1000's.

It's the only explanation I can come up with for why there are SO many utterly wretched horror movies on Netflix.

That's all I have to say about that.